Looting

Three looted Palmyra sculptures seized in Geneva freeport return to Syria

The two funerary reliefs and the head of a priest were exhibited at the Musée d’art et d’histoire in Geneva in 2017

Major art trade groups join forces to stop looted Afghan artefacts reaching Western market

International trade groups including top British antique dealers vow to oppose trade of Afghan heritage artefacts under Taliban control

Looted 2,700-year-old bricks—discovered in Swiss warehouse—are returned to Iran

Before the discovery of the more than 50 painted blocks, “the richness of Mannaean civilisation had not been appreciated”, expert says

US hands over two stolen ancient lintels to Thailand after retrieving them from the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco

Dating from the ninth and tenth centuries, the objects are thought to have been looted from sacred sites in the late 1960s

Lootnews

Looted Libyan sculpture seized at Heathrow Airport heads back home with help from the British Museum

The funerary piece was illicitly excavated from the ancient city of Cyrene which is under threat from property developers

Mosul Cultural Museum rises from the ravages of Isis

Painstaking reconstruction by multi-agency task force is salvaging what artefacts remain after Islamic State occupation

Benin bronzes: looted treasures will return to Nigeria at last

Plus, the newly discovered Van Gogh is sold and artist Rana Begum on Tess Jaray

Hosted by Ben Luke and Aimee Dawson. with guest speakers Catherine Hickley and Martin Bailey. Produced by Julia Michalska, David Clack and Henrietta Bentall

Looted in the 1980s, a sacred stele at the Dallas Museum of Art is headed back to Nepal

After FBI investigation, sculptural antiquity lent by a collector is determined to have a disturbing provenance

French Senate and government lock horns on restitution

Deputies rejected senators' proposal for a national council to advise the government on future restitution claims

After outcry from antiquities trade, Unesco further adjusts ad campaign on looted artefacts

Dealers association challenged the campaign’s claims that two newly pictured objects were stolen

Hunt still on for a Van Gogh self-portrait lost deep in a salt mine during the Second World War

The Magdeburg masterpiece may have been burned at the end of hostilities—but some believe it might have been looted and survive

a blog by Martin Bailey

Is the future of museums in Africa?

We speak to museum experts András Szántó and Sonia Lawson. Plus, Dan Hicks on the legacy of colonial looting and National Gallery curator Christopher Riopelle on the Polish painter Jan Matejko

Hosted by Ben Luke. Produced by Julia Michalska, David Clack and Aimee Dawson

Unesco under fire for using Met objects in anti-trafficking campaign

Advertisements said that the works were looted in recent years, but Met documentation shows that they have a much longer provenance

Heritagecomment

Fifty years on, Unesco’s convention against illicit trafficking of cultural artefacts still shines bright

International treaty of 1970 has helped establish an ethical basis for the actions of law enforcement and museums

Black Lives Matter movement is speeding up repatriation efforts, leading French art historian says

Bénédicte Savoy—co-author of the Sarr-Savoy report that recommends France return its African artefacts—warns of "collective amnesia" over restitution debates that happened 40 years ago

Book Clubinterview

‘The looting was a chaotic free-for-all’: Dan Hicks on the pillaging of the Benin Bronzes and how museums can address colonialism

The curator and University of Oxford professor tells us about his new book, The Brutish Museums, which details how museums themselves were “used as a unique type of weapon”

Is the Nebra Sky Disc a millennium younger than we thought?

Analysis by German archaeologists suggests that the piece was not part of the Bronze-Age hoard looted in 1999

Lootinganalysis

How recent anti-racism protests have pushed a longstanding debate about colonial looting in Europe

As the Black Lives Matter movement goes global, museums face renewed demands to restitute artefacts plundered from Africa

‘I had lost hope’: The story behind a Nazi-looted Madonna and long-delayed compensation to Jewish heirs

The 93-year-old heir Grete Unger Heinz recalls contemplating a Jacopo del Sellaio painting as a child in Vienna

California man is charged with illegally importing an ancient mosaic, possibly from Syria

Indictment says the paperwork misrepresented the work’s quality and value

Waning market for African artefacts? Controversial Benin bronze fails to sell at Christie's

Academics challenge the provenance of the Edo plaque as well as two Igbo alusi figures that sold under estimate for €212,500

Former Louvre curator among five arrested in Paris in antiquities trafficking investigation

Case involves "hundreds of objects worth millions" looted from the Near and Middle East

Facebook and Instagram ban trading of historical artefacts

Heritage group Athar were part of a campaign highlighting the social media giants' “black market in antiquities”

Lootnews

Looted ancient temple sculpture—seized by UK police—will go home to Afghanistan

British Museum and Art Loss Register collaborate over recovery of ancient bull decoration that was consigned to an online auction

Lawarchive

Italy sues for return of antique pottery which they claim to own under national law because they are objects of archaeological interest.

The US has filed a complaint in a federal district court to determine who owns 230 antiquities produced in ancient Italian pottery workshops

Getty plans sweeping $100m initiative to promote the world’s cultural heritage

Projects will range from exhibitions about the classical world to conservation and excavations and a book about “heritage and mass atrocities”

Over 18,000 cultural goods seized and 59 people arrested in trafficking sting

Multi-national operation organised by Europol involved police forces from 29 countries

Nazi lootarchive

Seattle Art Museum sues New York dealers Knoedler

The heirs of Parisian dealer Paul Rosenberg demand the return of a Matisse stolen during World War II

A 'missed opportunity'? US seeks to return painting looted by Nazis to Ukraine

Questions are being raised about how the work ended up in the US and why such a public seizure is being pursued now

London museum returns emperor's hair—taken by a British officer as a war trophy—to Ethiopia

The two locks will be buried at the monastery where emperor Tewodros' body was interred

Double Jeopardy? US dealer fights extradition to Poland, for the second time

Alexander Khochinsky’s lawyer calls the country’s actions over a €10,000 looted painting “aggressive and disproportionate” and says his client will not get a fair trial in the “illiberal democracy”

Met hands over an Egyptian coffin that it says was looted

Describing itself as a victim of fraud, museum says it cooperated with district attorney's investigation

Heirs of Baron Herzog continue battle for Nazi-looted art collection despite US Supreme Court dismissal

Decades-long case to reclaim works held in Hungary’s museums will now go through US District Court

Ivan the Terrible returns to Ukraine

19th-century oil painting, stolen during the Second World War, was found in the US

Art marketcomment

Will the UK be able to take part in antiquities busts after Brexit?

Nineteen of the accused in Operation Demetra face trial in December, while the alleged UK mastermind awaits extradition

Austria returns wrong Klimt to wrong family

Painting of apple trees is pulled from exhibition after admission that its restitution was a mistake

A record-setting $30.1m sale of an Assyrian relief at Christie's raises red flags

The 31 October sale has prompted calls for repatriation and criticism of the seller, highlighting the gap between art ethics and law

President Rouhani personally takes looted ancient relief back from New York to Tehran

Piece depicting a Persian soldier was seized last year at Tefaf New York

Lawnews

Paris court orders US collector to turn over Pissarro painting

The work, seized by the pro-Nazi Vichy government, had been lent to an exhibition at the Musée Marmottan

Georgia returns still life painting looted by Stalin's Trophy Commission

Country's stance contrasts that of neighbouring Russia, which still holds around a million items of war booty looted from Germany

Booksreview

The tortuous story of Gustav Klimt’s Nazi-looted, 100ft-wide Beethoven Frieze uncovered

New book exploring work's provenance is a must-read for those interested in the contentious field of art restitution

Lawnews

Norton Simon Museum can keep Nazi-looted Cranachs, US court rules

Decision should put decade-long legal battle between museum and heirs of art dealer Jacques Goudstikker "to rest"

Lawnews

Claim on Guelph Treasure can go to trial in US federal court

Lawyers for the Prussian Cultural Foundation argued that it was not “genocide” when the objects were sold in 1935

Lawnews

Art dealer sues Poland over its failed efforts to extradite him from the US

After offering to return a work looted by the Nazis in exchange for his family’s former real estate, Khochinsky was placed under house arrest in New York and faced a 10-year prison sentence in Poland

Angola recovers six artefacts looted from museum during civil war

Dundo Museum's lost objects were traced by the Sindika Dokolo Foundation

Lawnews

German museum and auctioneer Im Kinsky tussle over looted glass goblet

Object was returned to consigner not museum from where it was looted at the end of Second World War

Berlin’s Ethnological Museum returns Alaskan grave artefacts looted by explorer

The objects “do not belong in our museums”, says the president of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation

Hamburg museum says its Benin bronzes could return to Nigeria—but not yet

Applied arts institution is showing the sculptures in a looted art exhibition

Damning report says France must catch up, fast, in return of Nazi-era loot

Heritage expert calls for new government taskforce to guide provenance research and even rule on restitution cases

German researchers trace Jewish newspaper mogul’s vast Nazi-looted art collection

The Mosse Art Research Project, a cooperation with the German government, identifies eight works and launches online database

Will the British Museum lend Nigeria the Benin bronzes?

Planned museum in Benin City offers safe environment for Western collections, the country says

Scotland Yard joins global crackdown on looted pharaonic antiquities

The initiative, which involves governments and the art world, will set up a public database of objects

V&A opens dialogue on looted Ethiopian treasures

Director pledges rethink on objects seized by British troops in 19th-century Africa

Tough new scrutiny by district attorney rattles New York antiquities trade

Will New York district attorney’s new unit clean up the antiquities market—or shut it down?

Lawnews

Rhode Island School of Design denies claim on Picasso by Alphonse Kann heirs

Provenance research commissioned by the university has found that-while the work was once owned by the legendary collector-it was not looted by the Nazis

New York DA’s Antiquities Trafficking Unit starts the new year with double seizures

The newly formed team, led by Assistant District Attorney Matthew Bogdanos, has been cracking down on ancient art dealers and collectors

Painting looted from Hitler withdrawn from auction in Cologne

Franz von Stuck’s portrait of two girls was due to be sold at Van Ham

Lawnews

Appeals court allows heir to renew claim against Nahmad family over Modigliani painting

The convoluted case involves suspected Nazi loot, the Panama Papers leak and a shadowy shell company

Cornelius Gurlitt’s art hoard finally gets first public showing

Organisers hope two shows will lead to restitution claims from victims of Nazi persecution